Chris’ Eurovision Semi-Finals Two Recap, Part One

The second semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest were held in Belgrade, Serbia earlier tonight. As with the first semis, I’ve divided my recap into two parts. Again, unless I mention that the dancing was good, assume that the dancing sucked.

1. Iceland

I love this song. It’s got a Real McCoy feel to it. Euroband’s performance is excellent, but I fear that going first may kill their chances.

2. Sweden

My god, Charlotte Perrelli has had a lot of work done. I mean, she looks unnatural. The song is catchy and she sings it well, so overall a good performance. Nul point for the plastic surgeon, though.

3. Turkey

Turkey’s rocking out this year. I wasn’t into this song before, but Mor ve Ötesi’s performance is very good. They sound great, and they have a lot of intensity. So far, so good tonight.

4. Ukraine

I think Dima Bilan is going to win Eurovision for Russia, but Ani Lorak’s “Shady Lady” is definitely my favorite song this year. The staging of this number is fun. The male dancers are in this box that lights up on each of them during the opening lines of the song. That description so doesn’t do this justice, so just check out the video from the show:

Just fantastic.

5. Lithuania

Now the evening goes downhill. This is absolutely awful. Jeronimas Milius’ singing is all over the place, and he’s over-emoting horribly. This is the Eurovision equivalent of Laurence Olivier in The Jazz Singer. Abysmal.

6. Albania

Olta Boka is not a horrible singer, but she doesn’t have an intense enough voice to handle the chorus of the song. It’s kind of an amateurish performance, which is too bad, because the song is not bad.

7. Switzerland

Here’s your Johnny Logan number for the night. Unfortunately, while “Era Stupendo” is not horrible, Paolo has trouble holding notes. He goes flat if he holds a note longer than three seconds. It’s a problem, but I’m sure this one goes through anyway.

8. Czech Republic

I had high hopes for this, because while “Have Some Fun” is not a profound song by any means, the recorded track sounded pretty good. Live, however, this was an absolute train wreck. They’ve remixed the song for the show and added a deejay who yells throughout the entire song. There are lots of extraneous explosions at random times during the song. The dancing is strikingly awful, even by Eurovision standards. And the singer, Tereza, is completely drowned out by the music. This is utterly atrocious.

9. Belarus

This song is called “Hasta La Vista.” How appropriate. This is so bad that I found myself looking forward to the day Belarus merges into Russia. Also, there are these big mounds with lights in them on the stage that look like leftover props from Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The Musical.

10. Latvia

“Wolves of the Sea” by Pirates of the Sea. Sample lyrics: “We’re robbing you blind/I hope you don’t mind” and “There’s no Peter Pan, so what can you do?” All I can say is never underestimate Rednex’ influence. Still, this is cute enough to go through, I bet.